Summary: A funeral is held for those who died. Jon is hailed by his men and Dany si notably worried about this. She begs Jon not to reveal his heritage. Jon tells Sansa and Arya anyways. Sansa tells Tyrion who tells Varys. Varys, concerned about Dany's deteriorating mental state, plots to turn on her. Dany marches against Cersei and sends some of her army in a small fleet with the two dragons. They encounter Euron who kills Rhaegal and sinks the fleet. Missandei is captured. Dany meets with Cersei outside King's Landing and tries to negotiate a surrender. Cersei refuses and kills Missandei.
The Good: The episode started off on the right track with the funeral sequence. It was a sweet farewell to all of the characters who died, and all of the main characters portrayed their sadness nicely. It was clear how badly they were affected by the battle against the dead. I also enjoyed the celebrations afterwards. After all, why wouldn't everyone celebrate surviving certain death? Tormund was a joy to watch and he made me laugh quite a bit.
Dany was very good in this episode and Emilia Clarke did a really good job. She portrayed Dany's sadness and anger really well. The few shots of Dany quietly listening as Jon's men all praised him was wonderful. Her sadness, loneliness and jealousy was portrayed so well, and it made her feel a little more relatable as she gets next to no love or glory for pretty much saving the entire world. I get the sense that the show is definitely going the Mad Queen route with Dany, and I like that because it's a good story to tell that opens the door for more interesting conflict in these last few episodes.
I enjoyed the episode throughout. There were some other nice moments throughout the episode, even if they didn't stand out too much. Jaime and Brienne getting together was awesome since they have the best and most complex relationship in the show. Arya and The Hound had nice scenes together one again, as did Arya and Gendry. Gendry becoming lord of Storm's End was a nice moment for him too. I also liked Jon's emotional farewells with Tormund, Ghost, Sam and Gilly. I wonder if they all just got written out of the show with these scenes. I'm pretty sure we won't be seeing Tormund and Ghost again, but Sam and Gilly may still return. Tyrion and Varys had some fascinating conversation scenes as usual and I was intrigued by their discussions about Dany.
The death of Missandei was good. It gives Dany even more reason to absolutely destroy Cersei at whatever cost and makes us support Dany even more. This should allow for some interesting emotions to be explored during the battle next episode. I expect myself to be conflicted on whether or not to support Dany's vengeance at the cost of so many innocents.
The Bad: Unfortunately, the fun nature of this episode was completely ruined by some garbage writing. There is so much here that I took issue with, and it detracted from my experience by a lot. After getting used to the tight writing of seasons 1-4, it's disappointing that the past few seasons have such sloppy writing at times.
Where to begin? I'll start with Gendry. Dany hasn't started ruling yet, but she still decides to tackle the issue of the next lord of Storm's End. Why is this a problem? Well, because Dorne and the Reach don't have any successors that we are aware of and Dany doesn't spare a single thought for them. So why did she make Gendry a lord now? Because the writers wanted that Gendry/Arya scene to happen. The writers fingerprints are all over this moment. It's not a huge problem, but in an episode filled with other bigger issues that I'm about to delve into, it's just another disappointing example of the writers thoughtlessness. One final thing about Gendry is that his bastard surname was given as Rivers, even though it should be Waters since he was born in King's Landing. Another sloppy moment.
Another small moment that pissed me off was Sansa talking with The Hound. She addresses how without Ramsay and Littlefinger, she wouldn't be the person she is now. What? Do the writers seriously fail to understand her character that badly? So what they are saying is that Sansa shouldn't be credited for her own development and it's the manipulator and rapist in her life that should be thanked instead. What a slap in the face to the character of Sansa.
I'm annoyed that everyone is still angry at Dany for some unknown reason. Honestly, why is Sansa still so hateful towards her? It makes no sense and feels so forced. Dany sacrificed so many men and literally saved the North by using her men in the battle. Yet she gets no credit whatsoever, and Sansa even has the gall to suggest that Dany was useless since Arya was the one who killed the Night King. Why should I like this character who is a total prick for no apparent reason? Furthermore, Sansa and Arya claiming that they can only trust family is nonsensical. Are they the Lannisters now? I mean come on, they literally just trusted Theon, a Greyjoy, to protect Bran and mourned his death. How the hell are they too shortsighted to realize that and only trust their family? They will never make any good alliances if this is the case, and the two of them come off as needlessly selfish with a childlike perspective on ruling.
What's worse is Jon, who continues to be the biggest idiot in the Seven Kingdoms. Sansa and arya make it clear that they don't trust Dany and believe Jon is doing the wrong thing. Jon should be worried about trusting them since they could easily go against his own plans. So what does he do? He tells them a secret that could completely ruin Dany and expects them to keep the secret. I mean, what the hell Jon? Especially after the shady conversation they just had, how the hell is Jon stupid enough to think that telling them is a good idea? Jon is a terrible leader that makes crap decisions. Honestly, I would rather have Sansa rule the Seven Kingdoms over both Jon and Dany.
Then we have that Bronn scene which was god awful. I mean, what the hell was the point of this story? We got no interesting conflict whatsoever from Bronn and the whole story seems like a waste of time since it went absolutely nowhere and was rushed as hell. Plus, why the hell did Bronn go North anyways? I expected him to stay in King's Landing, but instead he goes to Winterfell which could possibly have been swarming with wights had the Night King won. Is Bronn suicidal? Anyways, my prediction from "Winterfell" came true as Bronn could not be trusted with the job Cersei gave him since he caved to Tyrion and Jaime's side instantly. Lastly, the existence of the scene is absurd. How did Bronn get into Winterfell so easily? How did he reload the crossbow so quickly? How did he manage to find the exact room in a massive castle where both Tyrion and Jaime just happen to be sitting alone? Why did Bronn just leave immediately to go back to King's Landing? That's a long, long hike, surely he would want to rest for a bit.
That's another big complaint I have about both this episode and the last few seasons as a whole. The world of Westeros feels so much more compact in these last two seasons and it fails to have that expansive fantasy feeling that the first 4 seasons had. When was the last time we saw just a normal person walking down the street? It's just main characters, and main characters everywhere. The world doesn't feel lived in anymore. Additionally, I hate that there are no houses outside King's Landing. It's just a wall and then nothing outside at all. When you combine this lack of world-building with the decreased scope of the show, the world just isn't engaging anymore.
Jaime choosing to leave Winterfell was really poor. Did he never realize that Cersei might die in battle before that one moment? Come on, Jaime isn't that shortsighted. His decision to leave is perplexing, mainly because I don't understand why he didn't leave earlier. I can't see why he chose to stay in Winterfell instead of marching to King's Landing. It's just contrived so that we can get the scene where Brienne begs him to stay. That scene is bad too. Brienne openly cries, which is so out of character for her, and the scene is so generic and tropic with the girl crying when the guy leaves.
The strategies in this episode were abysmal. Splitting up her already depleted forces is nonsensical. I have no idea why Dany decided that a fleet would be necessary anyways. She has no chance against Euron's fleet, so why would she put her useful men on boats that could easily be sunk by Euron. Furthermore, she makes the same mistake yet again by not scouting ahead to see if there are any threats nearby. She knows Euron is lurking in the waters, yet she makes no attempt to ensure safe passage. It's such bad strategy and shows that she learned nothing from when her last fleet got sunk by Euron.
The actual encounter was absolutely ridiculous. How on Earth did Dany not see Euron's army from above? Did she just not bother looking down? Rhaegal's death was extremely dumb. If you can kill a dragon so easily with scorpions, then why are they a threat to begin with? Furthermore, Euron being able to shoot Rhaegal with pinpoint accuracy was absurd. Scorpions aren't that easy to aim, especially with moving targets. Also, what about reloading? Scorpions take a really long time to reload and that is there main weakness. But they are just on rapid fire mode in this episode, and they become the most overpowered weapons in the show, even stronger than dragons. Plus, how did they build so many scorpions so quickly? They only had one in season 7, yet they have like 100s in this season. Is it really that easy to make scorpions? Why didn't they just make more before in season 7 then? Back to Euron, how the hell did he know that Dany would be making a fleet? He isn't Varys, he doesn't know everything. Also, convenient rock to hide an entire fleet behind is convenient. Plus, the accuracy of the scorpions is so inconsistent. They shoot Rhaegal so easily and yet when Dany is flying a much bigger target straight towards the fleet, they miss like 20 shots in a row. Just like the Night King, Euron is only accurate when the plot wants him to be. Terrible writing.
Euron himself is a big problem. I really liked his character last season when he was no more than a fun supporting character. But now he is one of the main villains of the show. This one-dimensional, uninteresting dirtbag is one of the main two villains of the series as a whole. Would it kill the writers to make him more interesting? Plus there is literally a much, much, much better villain written out right in front of these guys. I don't like bringing up the books in my TV reviews but I feel the need to about Euron. Book Euron is charismatic, scary, intimidating and mysterious with a crucial connection to the magical aspects of the show. He is a much better villain that is already ready-made for the show. Instead, the showrunners apparently decided that this 1D goofy villain is a much better candidate for one of the biggest villains of the show than book Euron.
The climactic scene isn't good either. Apparently Euron captured Missandei which doesn't make sense. He doesn't know who Missandei is, and why would he make the effort to go capture this one person when he was focused on just sinking the fleet in the previous scene. The actual confrontation is ridiculous. Dany is right in front of Cersei with like 12 men and a dragon that appears to be in range of the scorpions. Cersei wants to win the war, right. So just kill them all! It's not hard, just kill them! Cersei comes off as a total idiot for not killing any of them, not even Tyrion who literally made himself a target for no apparent reason. About that point, why the hell does Tyrion believe that Cersei will surrender. Remember when Jorah said Tyrion is smart because he learns from his mistakes? Well here is Tyrion once again being fooled by Cersei, proving that he is as dumb as Jon when the writing is as incompetent as this.
Lastly, the show totally dropped the ball on the connection between the Starks and their direwolves. Did Jon seriously send Ghost away like that after so many years of loyalty? And without petting him? This is how to make everyone watching the show despise Jon, by having him throw away a loyal servant with little to no kindness or affection and for no reason.
The Unknown: What does Bran mean when he says he lives in the past mostly? Will this go somewhere? I remember the 3EC saying to Bran that spending too much time in the past is dangerous.
Are Tormund, Ghost, Gilly and Jon just gone now?
Will Dany kill all of the innocents to get back at Cersei for killing Missandei and Rhaegal? She seems ont he verge of going insane.
Will Varys turn on Dany? Will he try to kill her?
Best Moment: Probably the opening bit for its emotional resonance.
Character of the Episode: Dany.
Conclusion: This was a fun episode on the surface. But when you go even a little bit deeper, this episode is very poor with very few redeeming qualities. Good writing is essential for TV shows. If there are too many plot holes and inconsistencies within characters, my immersion in the world is ruined, and I believe that good immersion is one of the two essential qualities of good television (emotion being the other). This episode had awful immersion and that hurts it a lot. This episode was a disappointment.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.